Today was unfortunately our last day in Brazil. The reception we received in São Paulo was remarkable; I have no doubt we will be seeing many more Brazilians and their companies in the GTA and Mississauga in the months and years to come. This is due in large part to the tireless work of our City’s Economic Development Office who nurture the business leads and turn them into investments in our City.
Our value proposition is strong: low corporate taxes, combined with a quality of life that is second to none and a pool of highly educated, skilled and diverse talent that us unrivalled anywhere in the world. Over 66% of our population has a post-secondary education, and over 56% of our population was born outside Mississauga. This makes us one of the most diverse cities on the globe, but more importantly, it allows prospective companies the potential to not only access the Canadian and United States markets, but also markets all over the world because of the connections that can be made in our City. I have said many times that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Our Economic Development Strategy is called, “Win the Human Race.” I think we are doing just that and the more I speak about our positive attributes, the more I realize Mississauga and the GTA have a great deal working our favour.
Today was another full day of meetings, mainly with the digital media sector. In the morning we met with an innovative development company called, WIKI4FIT. They have developed a unique application for Android and Apple platforms that allows people to customize their workouts and track their progress. By their calculations over 1 billion people globally exercise regularly and over 165 million people belong to a gym or fitness centre. WIKI4FIT is attracted to the GTA and Mississauga because of our low corporate tax rate, our business-friendly climate, and our high quality of life. As well, Canada ranks 3rd as a country dedicated to fitness, meaning the potential for expansion is great.
Our next two meetings were with digital media associations: ABRA Games and ACI Games. The members of both associations are creative game and application developers. Like the other companies we met with in the digital media sector, they were impressed with our educational institutions, including UTM and Sheridan College, the latter which has a renowned digital animation and software development programs. The access to highly talented and skilled labour in Mississauga is attractive to these companies – there are over 23,000 students enrolled in over 217 software development and digital media programs in the GTA.
Leaving for the airport I felt a sense of optimism and a much stronger connection with a country that has become one of our target markets. Brazil is the 7th largest economy in the world, with the potential to enter the top 5 in the coming years. As they continue to grow, we will continue to welcome the expansion of their businesses in the GTA and more specifically, in Mississauga. I am confident that many of the relationships started these past four days will grow into business opportunities in our region and our city in the coming years; creating jobs, and stimulating our economy.
Next stop: Santiago, Chile. Like Brazil, we have a large number of meetings planned with companies intrigued by the investment potential of the GTA and Mississauga.